You are here: Home - Household Bills - News -

Lockdown hokey cokey sees shop footfall down 40% last year

0
Written by:
08/01/2021
Retailers were hit hard by the effects of the pandemic last year, as footfall fell by more than 40% amid lockdown restrictions.

Total year-on-year footfall for 2020 fell 43.4% according to UK retail trade association, the British Retail Consortium’s (BRC) ShopperTrak data.

In December alone, footfall plunged 46.1%, a 19.3 percentage point improvement from November when England was under lockdown measures.

When it came to high streets, footfall was down nearly 50% – it’s fifth consecutive month of poor performance.

Meanwhile, retail parks suffered a 17.3% decline year-on-year. And shopping centres reported a 47.3% slump in the typically busy period in the run up to Christmas.

Helen Dickinson OBE, chief-executive of British Retail Consortium, said after an encouraging start to the month, Christmas shopper numbers dwindled as December progressed, due to the introduction of Tier 4 in England and increased restrictions elsewhere in the UK.

“High streets and shopping centres continued to see the most substantial decline in shoppers, as their ‘non-essential’ tenants were forced to close their doors during the weeks leading up to and following Christmas. London, the South East and Wales were hardest hit, with footfall dropping by over four fifths in the final week. However, it has been a hard year for the entire country, with footfall down by 43% in 2020 compared to the previous year.”

Dickinson added that now that all parts of the UK are effectively in lockdown and with social distancing measures expected to continue well into the New Year, ‘non-essential’ stores will be unable to trade their way back to recovery.

“A third lockdown will be one too many for some businesses. Rent bills continue to weigh heavily and the threat of a return to full business rates liability in April still looms. The government must urgently reassure those businesses hardest hit by the pandemic that they will receive vital financial support in the form of an extension to the coronavirus business rates relief,” she said.

Andy Sumpter, retail consultant, EMEA of ShopperTrak, added that the new mutated virus really was ‘the strain that stole Christmas’.

He said: “December was a month of two halves, however – before footfall fell away as UK consumers faced the prospect of tougher restrictions, there was an initial recovery in retail footfall in the first two weeks of December, with shopper counts boosted by pent-up demand from November’s lockdown and shoppers’ get-ahead gift buying.  While this soon plummeted in the second half of the month, it at least served to save some valuable Christmas trade.”

There are 0 Comment(s)

If you wish to comment without signing in, click your cursor in the top box and tick the 'Sign in as a guest' box at the bottom.

Flight cancelled or delayed? Your rights explained

With no sign of the problems in UK aviation easing over the peak summer period, many will worry whether holida...

Rail strikes: Your travel and refund rights

Thousands of railway workers will strike across three days this week, grinding much of the transport system to...

How your monthly bills could rise as the base rate reaches 1.25%

The Bank of England has raised the base rate to 1.25% as predicted – the fifth consecutive rise in just six ...

What will happen if rates change

How your finances will be impacted by a rise in interest rates.

Regular Savings Calculator

Small regular contributions can build up nicely over time.

Online Savings Calculator

Work out how your online savings can build over time.

DIY investors: 10 common mistakes to avoid

For those without the help and experience of an adviser, here are 10 common DIY investor mistakes to avoid.

Mortgage down-valuations: Tips to avoid pulling out of a house sale

Down-valuations are on the rise. So, what does it mean for home buyers, and what can you do?

Five tips for surviving a bear market mauling

The S&P 500 has slipped into bear market territory and for UK investors, the FTSE 250 is also on the edge. Her...

Money Tips of the Week